The travesty that is the Mueller Report is revealed in the recounting of events cited as the foundation for the Special Counsel investigation:
- June 2016–the Democratic National Committee and its cyber response team publicly announced that Russian hackers had compromised its computer network.
- In late July 2016, Australian Diplomat Alexander Downer contacted the FBI about a May 2016 encounter with Trump Campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos and accused Papadopoulos of talking about collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russians to damage Hillary Clinton.
- According to a joint report by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued Thursday, Russian intelligence operatives gained access to the Democratic National Committee—in two separate instances, and were able to steal files from the organization and people involved with it.
Let me explain simply why Mueller's description of these events is both troubling and problematic.
Let's start with the supposed Russian hack of the DNC. The June compromise of the DNC is blamed on the Russians by Crowdstrike, a firm hired for the DNC by Perkins Coie. The FBI did not conduct a forensic examination of the computers or network at the DNC. They were not allowed. Instead of investigating this presumed criminal act, the FBI chose to rely on the claims of a cyber security company that has questionable ties to Ukraine and clear motives to blame Russia for taking the emails. It also is pertinent that the NSA was not asked to track the packets and determine where the messages went. The Russian myth was born without actual evidence.
The claim by Alexander Downer is very suspect. Downer waited two months before informing US authorities about Papadopoulus's alleged drunken bragging about the Trump team working with the Russians to get Hillary. But why wait two months? The alleged Russian hacking of DNC emails was front-page news around the world by June 15. Why did it take Downer four more weeks to comprehend the dire implications of Papadopoulus's intoxicated ramblings? Papadopoulos disputes Downer's account. Yet, per Mueller, this was one more event justifying the Russian interference meme.
Finally, Mueller cites the joint-analysis produced by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security as "proof" of Russian bad acts. To people unfamiliar with the technical issues discussed in this paper (see here) it seems to be a slam dunk case. But genuine experts, like Bill Binney, have shown that there is no real independent forensic evidence backing up the conclusions. It is still information derived from a source of questionable reliability–Crowdstrike.
Do you notice what is absent from the "evidence" of Russian meddling? The Steele Dossier. This was a document commissioned by the Perkins Coie Law Firm, which hired Fusion GPS who in turn hired longtime FBI Confidential Human Source, Christopher Steele. Steele's name does not appear until p. 23 of the Mueller Report and it is presented in a very misleading, dishonest fashion. The Report states:
Several days later (mid January 2017), BuzzFeed published unverified allegations compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele during the campaign about candidate Trump 's Russia connections under the headline "These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia."
Why did Mueller fail to report that Christopher Steele met with the FBI's Peter Strzok in July 2016? Why did Mueller fail to report that John Brennan, CIA Director, briefed Senate Minority leader Harry Reid in August 2016 on the dossier reports from Steele? This briefing led Reid to send FBI Director Comey a letter demanding an investigation of the collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians. And why did Robert Mueller not mention the fact that the Steele Dossier was a key foundation for the FISA warrant issued to spy on American citizen, Carter Page?
The Steele Dossier was a critical information element in the propaganda campaign ginned up to paint Trump as a proxy of Putin. But Mueller's "exhaustive" investigation ignores the substantive facts about this document produced at the behest of the Hillary Clinton Campaign.
Another critical element excluded from the Mueller Report is the role that the Department of Justice, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch. First there is the case involving the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnetskya, who claimed to have dirt on Hillary. The Attorney General signed the letter allowing her into the United States for that meeting. We know this thanks to the excellent reporting of John Solomon in July 2017:
Homeland Security Department confirmed that in July 2017 that Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was granted special entry to the United States on multiple occasions in 2015 and 2016 at the request of the Justice Department.
Veselnitskaya was allowed to enter the United States on multiple occasions between September 2015 and February 2016 under a “Significant Public Benefit Parole” document requested by the Justice Department . . . .
“In October (2015) the government bypassed the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary permission to enter the country called immigration parole,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni was quoted in the court transcript as saying. “That's a discretionary act that the statute allows the attorney general to do in extraordinary circumstances. In this case, we did that so that Mr. Katsyv could testify. And we made the further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the country to assist.”
You should recall that Veselnetskya met with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson (who had hired Christopher Steele to do the Russian hit job on Donald Trump) before and after the meeting. That is another critical fact that Mueller excludes from his report.
Veselnetskya was not the only Russian to get special treatment. Henry Greenberg aka Henry Oknyansky aka Gennady Vasilievich Vostretsov was an FBI informant and was used to try to solicit Michael Caputo and Roger Stone on paying cash for dirt on Hillary. Here is Mueller's account:
In the spring of 2016, Trump Campaign advisor Michael Caputo learned through a Floridabased Russian business partner that another Florida-based Russian, Henry Oknyansky (who also went by the name Henry Greenberg), claimed to have information pertaining to Hillary Clinton. Caputo notified Roger Stone and brokered communication between Stone and Oknyansky.
Oknyansky and Stone set up a May 2016 in-person meeting.260 Oknyansky was accompanied to the meeting by Alexei Rasin, a Ukrainian associate involved in Florida real estate. At the meeting, Rasin offered to sell Stone derogatory information on Clinton that Rasin claimed to have obtained while working for Clinton. Rasin claimed to possess financial statements demonstrating Clinton's involvement in money laundering with Rasin's companies. According to Oknyansky, Stone asked if the amounts in question totaled millions of dollars but was told it was closer to hundreds of thousands. Stone refused the offer, stating that Trump would not pay for opposition research.
The Democrat Dossier tells the rest of the story. Greenberg obtained a VISA thanks to intervention by the United States Government to enter the United States:
Under his different identities, he has spent at least 10 years in Russian prisons and two years in U.S.federal detention for fraud, theft, child support, assault with a deadly weapon and multiple occasions of driving under the influence. He is a convicted violent felon, from Russia, who would not have been admitted into the United States if it were not for the 14 separate visa waivers he received from the FBI. In a 2015 court filing Greenberg admitted that he has been an FBI informant for the past 17 years and has risked his life in Iran, North Korea and in the United States while working undercover for the FBI. With a criminal record “Greenberg” could not be in the United States in 2016 on any other type of VISA.
In August 2015 Greenberg made this declaration before a US Judge:
Around August 1998 I file Federal Habeas Corpus while in INS detention center at San Pedro,CA. After almost 2 years in INS custody, in 2000, I decided to leave US voluntarily, because there was a great concerns about my health.. I left country voluntarily. All immigration proceedings against me were closed. There was never any deportation orders against me. More then 8 years, while outside U.S., I provide information to FBI Special Agent David Baker. Wherever I was, from Iran, to North Korea, I always send information to Mr. Baker. In 2008 he requested Special Public Benefit Parole for me and INS granted 2 90 days. In 2009 FBI requested another parole for me, because of very good information I provided. At this time was granted for one year multi entry and work permit. Because of problems with OHS getting the information to U.S. Embassy, I entered country only in 2010. After that I still,provided information to FBI. Meet with supervisors, and many Special agents. When David Baker getting ready to retire in 2013, he transferred me to FBI Miami Field Office, where agents request parole for me, as promised to Mr. Baker, and S visa as well. After several months of waiting nothing was happened.
Why was Henry Greenberg still in the United States making offers to sell compromising information on Hillary eight months after a deportation hearing? Who let him back into the country? How did Mueller's supposedly intrepid investigators miss this key piece of information?
Characterizing the Mueller report as a fraud and a farce is not a partisan judgment. I state this based on very simple fact presented above. There are glaring omissions in what was investigated and what facts were put on the table. If Attorney General Barr makes good on his pledge to investigate the origins of this faux counter intelligence investigation there are some key people who served in the Obama Administration that will have some very tough questions to answer.